Derby County owner Mel Morris has given his take on Wayne Rooney’s scathing assessment of how footballers have been treated during the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, with the former Manchester United striker having made the comments recently in The Times.
Rooney, a January signing from DC United for the Rams, blasted the football authorities and the British government for not suspending the football season at an earlier date, with the stating that the 34-year-old stating that footballers are “treated like guinea pigs” by the governors of the sport.
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The comments were made earlier this month following the decision by the EFL to suspend all Football League matches until the end of April at the earliest, with the situation surrounding the virus constantly changing at present after prime minister Boris Johnson enforced stricter measures on social distancing this week.
Responding to Rooney’s comments during an interview with Off The Pitch, Morris was quick to play down the significance of what his club’s player had to say:
“I don’t think his comments were aimed at a club situation at all – but saying ‘we’re in the spotlight of this and therefore people should think a bit more’.
“No-one has been put in a situation where they’ve been used as lab rats. I think it was more a tongue-in-cheek comment.
“Wayne’s a really level-headed guy. There’ll be no sting in his comments for what he was trying to say.”
Rooney has been ever present for the Rams since arriving at Pride Park a few months ago, notching four goals and two assists for the club whilst being utilised in a deep-lying midfield role by Phillip Cocu so far.
Rooney is well within his rights to voice his concerns, with the situation surrounding the virus having taken a turn for the worst, the football authorities really should have acted sooner in response to government advice.
Morris has simply seeked to play down the comments in order to protect his player from taking any flack although many may question why he hasn’t backed someone he works so closely with.
In the meantime, the Derby owner will no doubt be keen to assess how the current crisis will affect the club financially, with revenue sure to be lost after numerous games were suspended earlier this month.